We don't know what it is about Persian folks but Persian restaurants always have a nice vibe, well the ones we've been to anyway. Darband is always busy and filled with happy chatter, we just love being here. The service is fast, the staff are at a near sprint to keep up with the the orders, there's no time for stop-and-chat but we always get a smile and always feel welcome.
A small menu is a good menu, it means fresh food and dud dishes are unlikely. And a menu with English and pictures makes choosing easy. At Darbund it's the rice we go crazy for, it's so fluffy and light. And buttered...
Shirazi salad - $3. Diced cucumber and tomato with a little onion given a zing with lime and pepper.
Doogh - $3 per glass\small bottle or $6 per jug. A salty yoghurt drink that has a tangy sherbert-like tingle to it. Wow.
Baghali polo - lamb shank and broad bean rice with dried dill - $12. We love this dish so much it deserves three photos...
The rice is sensational: the long long long grains of rice are wonderfully light and fluffy. The dill gives the rice a fresh lift.
The lamb shank is slow cooked and will fall off the bone with little more than a sideways glance. The lamb isn't overly salted which we really like, and it's swimming in pond of tumeric flavoured soup. We reckon you could pay $40 for this in Surry Hills. Here it's $12.
Shahi - $14. Chicken and minced lamb kebabs on rice. The grills are good and the rice is amazing, light and fluffy as always and served with a good dollop of butter. There's extra butter on the side if you feel the need.
Kashk-e-bademnah - $4. An eggplant dip that actually tastes like eggplant, lovely smokey eggplant. To the rear right is a simple garden salad - $3 - lettuce, tomato and cucumber dressed with a sprinkle of dried mint and mayonnaise that's white when you start and pink when finished.
Barg - $13. Grilled marinated lamb backstrap. Yes, lamb backstrap. We overheard other diners requesting salad instead of rice with their grill, a good idea if you feel like a light lunch.
Ghelmeh - $10. A stew of tender lamb chunks with split peas, tomato and dried limes. The dried limes give it a real zing. The potato chips on top are like those Smiths French Fries that we haven't had since our last visit to a school tuckshop.
Darband Persian Restaurant is at 9/45 Rawson Street, Aurburn. Phone (02) 9646 4466. www.darband.com.au.
Just down the road from the restaurant is a hospitality store for all your giant metal skewer and meat on hot coals needs. We just love the graffiti style pic on the side.